Rude and Apathetic Customer "Service"
I chose to use Budget Truck rental for my move from Richmond, VA to Winston-Salem, NC. I made the original reservation a month in advance. I ensure that I received my truck properly, I called in advance to confirm the reservation and was told that all was well. Budget then called me shortly before my pick-up date to let me know that everything was still on track.
On Monday 7/26/2010, I showed up at the Willow Lawn Budget Truck at 8am for my scheduled pick-up. After waiting twenty minutes for the gentleman to show up, I was told they didn’t have my truck. I reminded him that I had called to confirm, and that they had called me to re-confirm. He rudely replied “Well, I don’t know about any of that, but if I don’t have a truck, I don’t have a truck.” I asked him if there was another size truck available, and he said no. He turned, appearing to leave the office, so I told him that he needed to help find a truck for me to fulfill the reservation. After a long wait (that included computer crashes and no-answers at other stores), he found another truck in town—a truck without air conditioning (on a 95 degree day!).
The only other option was to drive 30 miles out of our way to pick up a different truck, so out of desperation (we were on a tight schedule due to the out-of-state move), we chose the non-air conditioned truck. The truck felt unsteady to drive, was very old and loud, and generally felt unsafe. The treads on the tires were also worn terribly.
After completing a long (not to mention excessively hot) drive, we arrived and moved into the new apartment. The original drop-off location was 550 Peters Creek Parkway. I was not informed of any changes to that location. We took the truck there, having filled up the gas tank just down the street. Upon arrival, we were informed that that location no longer accepted Budget Trucks, and had not accepted them since a change in management a few months prior. The website only recently (within the last week or two) took down that location, and a Google search still points customers to that location.
We had to drive fifteen miles out of our way to return the truck at the Reynolda Road location. When we arrived, we were told that the gas tank wasn’t completely full, and if we didn’t take it to fill it up, we would be charged $30. When we “filled” it up, it needed only a gallon and a half of gas.
Every person we spoke to at the Budget locations was rude and apathetic. We were told that any compensation or refunds had to be handled by the corporate office.
I called the corporate office’s customer service line to request compensation for the missing equipment, time delay, and lack of air conditioning on a hot summer’s day. The recorded message on the customer service line states that “This line is currently busy. To try this line again, press 3; to disconnect, press star.” This means that you have to push 3 every 5 seconds (I timed it) to try to connect to a living person. After 31 minutes of pushing 3 every 5 seconds, I gave up and tried the reservation line instead.
I was finally connected with a human being, who seemed uninterested in listening to me and tried interrupting me often. She explained that they only guarantee rates, not the equipment, so they are not liable for missing equipment (in other words, they can bite their thumbs at their customers who are left stranded). In recompense for the delay and inconvenience of no A/C, she offered me a 10% discount off the base rate ($162). I asked to speak to a manager to discuss further compensation, but she refused, saying “you don’t understand, it’s our policy—we won’t give compensation for that.” I told her I understand policy, but I wanted to explore other options because of the extreme nature of our Budget experience. I wasn’t given a chance to talk to a manager, so I accepted the 10% discount (a mere $16).
She also offered me a letter of apology and a coupon for my next rental, but I told her I will NEVER rent from Budget again.
Stay away from Budget Truck rentals. I spoke with other Budget customers who have had similar experiences. They are cheap because they cheat their customers and skimp on customer service. Go with U-Haul instead; they may be pricey, and are not be perfect, but I’ve had much better experiences with them.